In the month of May I bike commuted to work in Carmichael and Citrus Heights most of the days. I had plenty of time to think about stop signs, as there are a lot of them on my regular routes. A few less, now that the county has removed some from the parkway path, but still, a lot. At most of these stop signs, there are no cars anywhere in sight, particularly at the beginning of AM and PM commute hours when I’m riding, but even at other times of day. So I started thinking, why are these stop signs here, and what are stop signs for?
Stop signs get used for these purposes:
- When there is a busy intersection with a more or less equal flow of vehicles on both streets. The four-way stop signs assist people in taking turns.
- When one street is so busy that gaps long enough to cross that street are rare.
- When there are visibility issues that prevent vehicle drivers to see each other.
- When motor vehicles are going too fast, and they need to be slowed down.
Looking at each purpose in more detail: